Development of a Vacuum-Filtration-Based Method for Rapid Measurement of Total Suspended Solids in Stormwater Runoff from Construction and Development Sites

Stormwater discharges from construction and dewatering sites can carry large sediment loads resulting in highly turbid water. The Environmental Protection Agency established a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for construction-related runoff (i.e., turbidity < 280 NTU) in 2009. However, this limit has subsequently been removed pending further review. On the other hand, many states have issued NPDES permits with total suspended solids (TSS) limits (e.g., Nebraska requires TSS &amp;#8804; 90 mg/L). Since standard TSS measurement requires a time-consuming laboratory procedure, it is imperative to develop a method for rapid, cost-effective, and reliable measurement of TSS in the field. The goal of this research is to develop a vacuum-filtration based method for rapid measurement of TSS in stormwater runoff from construction and dewatering sites. The specific objectives (&amp; tasks) are to: (1) Make a vacuum-filtration system for rapid TSS measurement. The system will consist of: (a.) a pipette tip filled with a layer of glass fiber to retain suspended solids (particles > 2 &amp;#956;m) but allow dissolved solids (particles < 2 &amp;#956;m) and water to pass through. (b,) An electronic repeating pipette. It can produce a repeatable vacuum so that the sample volume passing through the glass filter will only depend on the properties of the sample (e.g., TSS). (2) Test the system for artificial and real stormwater runoff to establish the method. Artificial runoff will be made up of silt, clays, and sand of different combinations. Real stormwater will be sampled from several construction sites. The project will establish calibration curves of TSS vs. the passed water for different runoff mixtures. The performance, statistics, and cost effectiveness of the method will be evaluated. The research is a significant, initial step in tracking TSS in the field. The method should be rapid, cost-effective, reliable and easily commercialized.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Nebraska, Lincoln

    Lincoln, NE  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Stansbury, John

    Zhang, Tian

  • Start Date: 20120701
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20131231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 32782

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01483144
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mid-America Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC07
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 5 2013 1:01AM